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Broadening of tax bases. Strategic Indicator I

The main strategic objective of the Tax Agency is to improve voluntary compliance with tax obligations. To achieve this objective, it implements a wide range of measures that include civic-tax education, the provision of information and assistance, the prevention of tax and customs fraud, ex post control actions, the promotion of anti-fraud regulatory modifications, collaboration with other organizations and the promotion of cooperative relationships, among others.

To evaluate the progress of its actions in the medium term, the Tax Agency's Strategic Plan 2020-2023 established seven strategic indicators. These indicators are updated annually, with the last update being December 31, 2022.

Although it may seem preferable to measure the improvement in voluntary compliance by analyzing tax revenues, these are influenced by numerous external factors such as economic growth, the evolution of domestic demand, the employment rate, inflation, regulatory changes and the pace of returns, which makes them not a consistent measure for evaluating voluntary compliance.

Instead, the tax base is used as a measure less influenced by external variables. The tax base is the amount used to calculate the tax rate, that is, on which the tax rate is applied. By adding the tax bases of different taxes and correcting regulatory changes, an aggregate tax base is obtained in homogeneous terms.

To evaluate the improvement in tax compliance, the variation rates of the aggregate tax base are compared with relevant macroeconomic magnitudes such as nominal GDP or nominal domestic demand. The key indicator that reflects how fiscal behavior evolves in the country focuses on whether the increase in aggregate tax bases is greater than that of nominal domestic demand during the upward economic cycle.

It is important to highlight that the domestic demand figures and tax bases are subject to review for at least two years, which requires considering these estimates with a certain provisional nature.

Furthermore, the economic cycle influences the evolution of this strategic indicator. For example, during downturns in the economic cycle, such as in 2020, some base components react more intensely than their National Accounts counterparts, and the pandemic has had a distorting effect on the accuracy of estimates in 2020. -2021.

Despite these considerations, the data supports the claim that over the most recent seven-year period (2016-2022), the aggregate tax base has seen increases greater than nominal domestic demand. This is clearly reflected in the following graph, where an accumulated differential of 13.1 points is observed throughout the period. These results have had a positive impact on collection and point towards an improvement in voluntary compliance, which is the central strategic objective of the Tax Agency.

Aggregate tax base vs Nominal domestic demand - Annual growth rates